Transcript: Doug Collins goes off on Sixers after loss

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Transcript: Doug Collins goes off on Sixers after loss

After the Sixers' 98-84 loss to the lowly Orlando Magic on Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center (see story), a clearly frustrated Doug Collins held a memorable press conference. Here's the transcript:

On his team's lack of effort:

"Well I sure didn't see this effort coming. I thought we played incredibly hard against Miami. I thought we played incredibly hard in New York on Sunday. And this is mind-numbing to me. We went up 29-20, and from that point on, I couldn't even tell you what occurred.

"[Pat Summitt] is one of the all-time great coaches, and she spoke at my clinic when I was in Chicago, and she was incredible. And I'll never forget what she said. She said when she goes into young ladies' homes to recruit them, she said there are three things that you have to bring in my program: energy, effort and execution. And I'm in charge of one of them: execution."

On if they don't realize how desperate they should be playing? (Bob Cooney of Daily News)

"Bob, you know what man, I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I really do. I gotta tell you. I'm sitting there. I gave my body to this franchise. I was never booed as a player. Never. I ran through my sneakers."

On if it's a bad mix: (by John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com)

"I think the team that we've tried to put together, Gonzo, we've never seen. And so I think what happens is, when you take a huge piece away from it, your warts show."

On leaving the court before the buzzer:

"I thought the clock was going to wind down. I didn't realize they were going to take a shot clock violation."

Wasn't out of frustration?

"Oh no no no no no. I thought the clock was going to wind down. I didn't realize there was a differential. I've done that before."

On if his players have become comfortable losing:

"You would have to ask them that. I don't know. I do not know. The thing about it is, I can't speak for others. Damien Wilkins -- I mean he's been one of our best players since coming back from break. I told you, I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the break to come back to play."

On if there's anything he can do:

"Can I tell you something? If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did, this world would be a CAT scan. OK? I mean, believe me, there's not two days go by that I don't to go Rod [Thorn], I don't go to Tony [DiLeo] -- what can I do? Can I do anything different? How can I be a better coach? How can I be a better leader? How can I help these guys? Sometimes you've gotta help yourself. You know? Sometimes you've gotta help yourself. Youth is a very blaming thing."

On if his players ever go to him and ask how they can get better:

"No. I usually go to them.

"And, you know what, after a while, the talk gets old. Man, it gets old. It just does.

"At some point and time, you just gotta play. I told them at halftime, the game's not about X's and O's. We went up 29-20 -- it wasn't about X's and O's. [The Magic] scored 14 out of 20 possessions going into half. We came out, we were going to be all fired up, and it was a 7-0 run before we could blink. It was almost identical to New York. We were down 12 and we gave them an 8-0 run.

"And it's incredibly frustrating, yes, it is. But my job is to not put that kind of product on the floor. I'm incredibly hard on myself. I love it when the fans start yelling at me -- I'm not playing. You didn't yell at me when I played. Why are you yelling at me when I'm coaching?

On whether he has leaders:

"I think we have some guys who have some capability. I say all the time ... they say it's a players' league, well then take ownership. Take ownership. That's all I'm asking: Take ownership of what you're putting out there.

"To me, I'm a day's work for a day's pay kind of guy. That all I've ever been taught. And the one thing I have to understand is -- from me staying up, working harder, not sleeping -- that's not going to help anything. There's nothing wrong with our preparation.

"I looked out there to start the game and three guys weren't even sweating when we started the game. They're going to ease themselves into the game. You've gotta get sweaty, you've gotta get ready to go. So we started out at the break, and we come over to the bench and we're 6-for-18 [shooting] to start the game.

Media relations official says only a couple more questions:

"Yeah, go ahead, I don't mind. Hey, I'm having fun. I feel like I'm at the State of the Union."

On why Andrew Bynum wasn't on the bench:

"Does he sit out there all the time? I don't know. I mean, I don't even know. A lot of times he sits back there and gets treatment. I know he's going to talk to you guys tomorrow.

"You know guys, it's been hard. I think there's a part of this group wondering, 'Are you gonna play? Aren't you gonna play?' And it's been a tough year.

On why he had four starters on the bench early in the fourth quarter:

"Hey, you know what? They weren't getting it done. What were we down, 17? We went from seven to 17. And I go back to [coach Hank Iba], that voice I always here, 'Hey son, if you don't want to play, your substitute does. Give somebody else a chance.' We did and we cut it to five. It wasn't anything other than getting some stops, push the ball, play with some aggression. Basketball is a simple sport. The game is usually going to go to the aggressor. That's just the way it is.

"I'm disappointed. I really, really am, because there was so much this season that we were looking forward to. And it just seems like every time we turn around it's been something else.

On how much injuries have dragged down this team:

“We made a huge deal and we have nobody playing a part of that deal. How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome. That’s just the facts. I’m not looking for any outs. That’s a fact. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer [Hawes] had one, I think Lavoy [Allen] had two.”

On playing better before Thad got hurt:

“We are a team, I told you, that least little change affects us. You know, all of a sudden the starting lineup changes again. We have guys that don’t deal well with that. We’re not a team that rolls with that easily. We had Thad, we’re use to him. I thought Thad didn’t have the energy tonight that he had in New York. Sometimes that’s what happens, second game back. You know, the first game, running on adrenalin and that second game you just don’t have the juice. I just didn’t see that pop with Thad tonight but he had been out three weeks.

"We put so much on Jrue and Thad, if those two guys play well we have a chance. We got a chance because we’ll find three or four guys during the course of the game, but those two guys are critical for us. Thad gives us that speed and what he brings with the glue and Jrue is our all-star. I just don’t want you to think I’m up here blaming. I don’t want you to think I’m making excuses. That’s not what this is about. I’m not a blamer; I’m not an excuse kind of guy. No one takes this harder than I do. Nobody and I am a guy who, when I have coached, I’ve always been able to find some answers and I’ve not been able to find answers.

"And from my standpoint that is very disappointing because I’m paid to do that. I want you to know, that in no way am I casting dispersions on somebody else’s fault. We’re all in this together, but there cannot be a game that you just don’t go out and put your heart and soul into the game. Can’t do that. Had an off day, we’ve been on the all-star break. There’s no reason for that. None.”

On where do you go from here/is this a bottoming out:

“I sure hope so. I sure hope it can’t get any worse than this, but I mean, if you look at our schedule, 12 of our last 14 are on the road and look at the home games we’re playing: Atlanta, Golden State. Every one of them is a playoff team. But it’s interesting, the one thing my team has really never done is. I’ve always said ‘Beat the team you’re supposed to beat and let’s see where you are against the others.’ And it seems like for us we’ve laid some eggs in here against some teams we’ve had a chance to beat and then we’ve played pretty well -- San Antonio, Memphis, Miami -- played well, but they were still better than us and beat us, and that’s what you can’t do.”

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Sixers-Pelicans 5 things: Joel Embiid takes on dominating Anthony Davis

Sixers-Pelicans 5 things: Joel Embiid takes on dominating Anthony Davis

76ers (4-18) vs. Pelicans (7-15)
8 p.m. on TCN and CSNPhilly.com, Pregame Live starts at 7:30

The Sixers will try to snap their eight-game losing skid when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on Thursday night.

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Walking wounded, part II
After the Sixers were limited to nine available players in Tuesday's loss to the beat-up Memphis Grizzlies, things won't be much better in the health department in New Orleans.

Sure, Joel Embiid's expected return after sitting out the second half of a back-to-back set for rest will be a welcome boost. However, the Sixers are still dealing with a host of other ailments that will likely limit them to just 10 healthy bodies on Thursday night.

The Pelicans surely won't shed a tear for the Sixers because they have their own injury issues. New Orleans could have as many as five players sidelined, including former Sixer Jrue Holiday with turf toe.

2. The next big thing
All of the injuries won't decrease the game's intrigue, mainly because of the matchup at center between Embiid and Anthony Davis.

Embiid is coming off a subpar performance in his last outing against the Denver Nuggets, but the big man has still been as advertised this season. The rookie is putting up 18.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 23.3 minutes a game. Embiid is also shooting 46.8 percent from the field and an even 50.0 percent from three-point range.

On the other side, Davis has been an absolute monster for the Pelicans this season, even if it hasn't translated into many wins. 

The three-time All-Star leads the NBA in scoring with 31.6 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting. While carrying the scoring load, Davis has still been able to average a career-high 11.5 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals a night.

This should be the first of many meetings between two big men that look to dominate the future of the league.

3. Glass repair
With Embiid out on Tuesday, the Sixers were dominated 69-54 in the rebounding battle against the Grizzlies.

They should find things a little easier in that department against the Pelicans. Despite Davis' best efforts on the boards, New Orleans has allowed a league-high 48.9 rebounds to opponents this season. 

With Embiid back in the lineup, Ersan Ilyasova coming off a 17-rebound game and Richaun Holmes always active, the Sixers should be able to control the rebounding category.

4. Injuries
Robert Covington (knee/illness) is available to play. Jahlil Okafor (illness), Jerryd Bayless (wrist), Nerlens Noel (knee) and Ben Simmons (foot) are out for the Sixers.

Holiday (toe) and E'Twaun Moore (toe) are questionable. Tyreke Evans (knee), Dante Cunningham (knee) and Quincy Pondexter (knee) are out for the Pelicans.

5. This and that
•  The Sixers are trying to avoid a franchise-record 24th straight road loss.

•  The Sixers and Pelicans split the season series in 2015-16 with each team winning at home.

•  Ilyasova is averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 boards so far in December.